Saturday, September 3, 2011

Food Cravings -- How to Deal With Them

I have always had problems with food cravings. There are days when  want to eat something sweet and nothing I try appear to fit the specific "taste craving" my tongue, or whatever, is looking for. More often, these days anyway, I am craving salty food.

The potato chips I had the other day did not stop the cravings at all and I went for the "katha-meetha" (sweet and sour) snack... nope, that didn't work. I tried the rice puffs... no cigar. I tried an apple with a little salt... not even close. No matter what I try, nothing seems to make my cravings settle down.

There are times when the only way to quiet my cravings down is to lick a spoonful of peanut butter (I like the creamy kind). It's that or Nuttela. I have even gone for my weird sandwich cravings like tomato-flavored potato chip sandwich... or the peanut sandwich (I mean peanuts not peanut butter).

Or the weird "roti" (unleavened fat bread) cravings. I have it with "aam ka achaar" (mango pickle) when I am craving something salty or with jaggery when I want something sweet. Yesterday, I discovered "amla ka murabba" (sweetened gooseberry).

I avoided the sites that were spewing psycho-babble. I already know I am lonely (no need to rub that in). And I am not really in the mood to dissect my emotional problems (who doesn't have any?). I mean, really... who cares about my mind... I lost it decades ago.

So... I gave up today. I just decided I needed to do something about it and started to scour the internet on how to handle food cravings. I have read more web pages than I can count and clicked on more links than I can remember. Most of them seem to agree on some things and I just thought that sharing it would help me too.

1. Give In

It seems the best way to deal with food cravings is to give in. I am now an expert at that. If there is something higher than a PhD... I probably am suma cum laude in giving in to food cravings. The idea seems to be that not giving in will only make things worse. As in duh... don't I know it. They also say do not give in to often. Darn... I guess I am not too good with that part of things.

2. Keep Busy

When people have food cravings, they tend to focus more on the food they are craving than anything else. The best way, they say, to deal with a food craving is to keep yourself busy. In my experience, that works... about a teeny percentage of the time. But then, I guess I need to try harder.

3. Avoid TV

They say that those food ads affect the cravings. Ah...uh... er... I disagree. I usually watch TV after 4 p.m. till about dinner time and then again till about 10 p.m. I see a lot of ads. I can even hum and sing most of the jingles of my favorite ads. But... seeing potato chip ads do not make me get up and run to grab a bag of potato chips. Those luscious chocolate ads do not make me lust after a box of dark chocolates. Nope... they do not affect me much. Avoiding TV for me will mean I will miss my favorite tv series and that will not do... nope... that will just leave me with nothing much to occupy my time (aside from my usual mega-typing while writing articles) which will probably make me think of food. Vicious cycle.

4.  Wait it Out

In most articles, they say wait for the craving to go away. They say the cravings will go away. Hmmm... maybe I have never really waited long enough. 

The thing is, for a lot of people food cravings are very difficult not to give in to. I am one of those. I have tried getting the healthier alternative and I have munched on a lot of radishes, cucumbers and carrot sticks. But they have never really worked for me. What I do is I keep a certain time of day when I give in to my cravings and if it is before or after than time, I simply try to drink lots of water of lemonade until it's dinner time. (My cravings strike most after tea time although they tend to attack between meals without fail)

I guess the best way to deal with them is to accept that they come, give in to them just a little. But then I am no expert and the healthy-eaters may pray for lightning to strike me in my sleep. I do believe that giving in too much will only pile on the pounds and we all know that will mean a wardrobe change and that can be expensive (my present size is already expensive as it is). Then... I take my dogs for a long walk. (It's the only form of exercise I tolerate).

Let me know how you deal with your cravings. Maybe we can help each other out.  (wink, wink)
Posted by: Bames Pabla
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